On 18 November, the report ‘International Comparison Costs Inspection and Monitoring NVWA and Test Moderation’ was presented to the Dutch House of Representatives.
Guiding costs of import controls
The report shows that the costs of import controls in the Netherlands are much higher than in surrounding countries, and that important conditions of government guidelines to pass inspection costs have not been met. Yet State Secretary Van Dam concludes that the tariffs of the NVWA (Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority) are not out of step internationally, and that, ‘except for some small parts,’ they meet ‘Moderation’ guidelines. TLN/FENEX therefore has been forced to appeal to the House of Representatives in order to adjust costs of import controls.
Costs import controls significantly higher in the Netherlands
PWC’s research shows that total costs for import controls are almost seven times higher than in Belgium (13.6 million against 2.3 million). Corrected for the import value of goods, these costs are still about 43 per cent higher in the Netherlands. The European Union prescribes minimum tariffs for import controls. In the Netherlands, the tariffs for import controls stand out the furthest from the minimum tariffs.
Tariffs NVWA not in accordance with guideline ‘Moderation’
PWC’s research indicates that the essential criteria of ‘Moderation’ are not being met. ‘Moderation’ is the cabinet’s guideline for passing on inspection costs. It does not take into account the effect of the rates on the internationally competitive position of Dutch businesses.
House of Representatives’ move
For years, TLN/FENEX has warned of the negative competitive effect of the high tariffs of import controls. The Council of State recently concluded that the way in which the NVWA tariffs are passed on are not in accordance with the guideline ‘Moderation.’ TLN/FENEX now urgently appeals to the House of Representatives to, in accordance with the conclusions of the Council of State, adjust the NVWA’s tariffs, and to look critically at the letter of recommendation of State Secretary Van Dam.